Small business advice: how to leverage social media without being controlled by the beast

Social media is vital for every retail business. It is as important as opening the front door of the shop. However, its value is determined by the content you publish, by your call out to people.

we call it a beast because it can feel like you have never satisfied it. This is because so much social media content is disposable. You only have to watch how people engage with social media to see this.

Engaging with any social media platform is like feeding a beast that is forever hungry. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they are all hungry beasts. They can feel overwhelming, intimidating and frustrating. Too often, small business retailers give up … and when they do that they turn their back on opportunities for their businesses to be discovered.

The best way to be successful with social media is to have a plan to be efficient about how you engage.

Here is everyday advice to help you efficiently engage with social media. While the example used is Facebook, it is useful for any social media platform.

  1. Post regularly, but try and do all the posts for a week at once, in advance, scheduling them for publication on dates and at times you set. This is important as people who setup multiple posts at once tend to cut the time spent doing the posts.
  2. Keep text on posts to two sentences.
  3. If you are not sure what to write, think would I include this in a radio ad, on a flyer or yell it from the front of the shop.
  4. Give something of yourself in your posts. Your voice is important.
  5. Share knowledge and insights that reveal your expertise and add value of the interaction of followers of your Facebook page.
  6. Post with a theme in mind for a week, for example post with context to a new season, school holidays or some other timing connected to your business.
  7. Include a photo, photos or a video with posts. Photos should have real people in real situations. This personalises your business.
  8. Photos do not need to be a whole product. A close up of a small part of a product could look more interesting.
  9. Do not try and sell.
  10. Repeat your best posts. Facebook content is disposable, people scroll past quickly. Give your best content a chance to be seen by re-posting, judiciously.
  11. Do not hire someone to post for you as your voice is what matters most.

They key goal of a retail business Facebook page is increase recognition and recollection of the business. Think about this as you write each post. Make sure the post progresses on this goal.

This business management advice is another example of how Tower Systems helps its small business customers beyond our POS software.

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